Your Summer Survey Results


Thanks to everyone who has taken part in our Birds in Backyards surveys for the Summer period! You’re helping us build a long-term dataset of species patterns across the country. 

We recorded 271 species in Birds in Backyards surveys this summer, across 845 surveys. That’s a total of 26,335 birds that were counted. 

The table below shows us the most frequently recorded species, with reporting rate, or the percentage of surveys in which that species was seen, given to the right. 

Common Name Reporting Rate 
Rainbow Lorikeet 43%
Australian Magpie31%
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 26%
Willie Wagtail26%
Noisy Miner25%
Common Myna23%
Spotted Dove21%
Eastern Koel21%

You’ll see we have some ‘frequent-flyers’ on the list. Native urban adapters like the Rainbow Lorikeet and Magpie Lark are regularly amongst the most reported birds, as are the deliberately introduced Spotted Dove and Common Myna. 

A less common backyard species has made an appearance on this seasons ‘most reported’ list. The Eastern Koel migrates south in the summer months, travelling down from the north of Australia, Indonesia, or further. Adults can be heard from long distances with their distinctive coo-ee. Eastern Koels are brood parasites: adults lay their eggs in the nests of other species, and leave the host parents to raise the young. 

Typically we would say that Koels reach as far south as Nowra, on the NSW coast. In recent years though, what appears to be an increasing number of Koels have been making their way into Victoria and even South Australia over Summer. There are likely multiple factors affecting this range expansion. The proliferation of species such as the Red Wattlebird, which are a favourite host species of the Koel, is probably a key factor. Birds in Backyards surveys are one tool we have to measure the change in this species’ distribution over time. 

We’re in our Autumn survey period across March and April, but you can keep participating in Birds in Backyard surveys right through the year. Learn more here. 

Cover image by John Barkla.

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